Christmas Light Napkin Rings
Holiday Card Tree
Rather than toss your old Christmas bulbs, repurpose them into festive napkin rings. Simply place a loop of red and white baker’s twine at the bottom of the bulb using hot glue. Tie your new creations around your favorite rolled napkins.
Go for a mix of vintage and current holiday cards to make a creative Christmas wall tree. It can also serve as the perfect photo opp for family and friends.
Leaf Paper Garland
Snag construction paper in two complementary green shades and cut out leaf patterns to make your own Instagram-worthy garland for your mantel.
Break out the pom-pom maker again to make a wreath as light as the fluffiest snow. Just make pom-poms in a range of sizes, and then glue them onto a wreath form. Add a matching tassel onto the bottom, and a few bottle brush trees inside to finish the look.
Chalk Paint Ornaments
Gingerbread Cookie Napkin Holder
Custom-make your own ornaments by painting them with chalk paint, then writing on them with a white paint pen. You can doodle on a holiday design, or personalize them with your names and special dates (birthdays, anniversaries, and so on).
Here’s a novel idea: If you can cut two neat recrangles in a small gingerbread cookie, you can loop a ribbon through it and use it as an edible napkin ring for your Christmas dinner. Functional and delicious!
Paint Chip Wreath
Popsicle Stick Tree Ornaments
Snag 40 paint chips (usually free at the paint store) and grab a pair of scissors for this colorful DIY. Cut leaf shapes out of the swatches, crease them in the middle, hot-glue onto a wire wreath frame, and voila: a door decoration that won’t shed needles all over your stoop.
With the help of string, glue, and rhinestones, these colored popsicle sticks will look adorable on your real tree.
Cinnamon Stick Candle Holder
Rustic Driftwood Tree
Want to bring the scent of the holidays into your home? Secure cinnamon sticks around a candle with a rubber band, then tie with ribbon or twine, and you’ve got yourself the most sweet-smelling, rustic centerpiece.
The driftwood in this DIY mimics branches on a Christmas tree when attached to a rustic piece of wood and lined with Christmas ornaments — and suddenly you have a vintage-inspired decoration for your credenza.
Recently trim a tree? Don’t throw all of the logs into the fireplace. The smooth side of medium-sized branches make them easy to work with for holiday crafts. All you have to do is give the ends Santa faces and then use a ribbon to tie all three logs together to create adorable décor to sit by your front door.
On a gold ornament, paint 2 circles of white where they overlap for the eyes and let dry. Paint 2 black dots for eyes in the center of the 2 white circles and let dry. Paint a black (or red) nose in the center where the 2 white circles meet, and add a little mouth shape underneath the nose and let dry. Attach the twig antlers to the top of the ornament with hot glue. Cut out a triangle ear shape from brown paper and bend inwards. Put line of hot glue right in front of the twig antler and glue down.
Mason Jar Tree
Cinnamon Stick Ornament
Fill six like-sized mason jars with baubles, tinsel, greenery, or anything else you can think of. Assemble the jars in a pyramid, then wrap it with a shiny garland and top it all off with a star.
Bend a 3.5-inch piece of naturally coiled wrapped wire in half to form a loop, then gently push each end into the hollow part of a cinnamon stick. Use hot glue to attach cut sprigs of fresh rosemary for branches and small gems for ornaments.
Christmas Baking with kids
Christmas Mince Pies
2 cups flour
120g butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest (1 tablespoon) and juice of 1 orange (1/3 cup)
1 jar Safari fruit mincemeat (454g)
Icing sugar for dusting.
In a bowl, sift the flour and salt together.
Add the butter and rub into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar, grated zest and orange juice and mix together until the dough comes together. Knead the dough into a ball and cover with cling wrap.
Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
When youâ€™re ready to roll the dough, set the oven to 180C and spray a muffin tin with Spray and Cook. The muffin/cupcake tin should be a shallow tin. The deep ones will work but probably not as well.
Roll out the dough to about 2mm in thickness and with a round cookie cutter, cut the bases out of the dough and place them in the tin, gently pressing the bases down.
Place a tablespoon of fruit mince in each casing.
Now cut out the tops of the mince pies â€“ the dough can be a little thinner for this. I used a star shape but you can use a round shape as well. Place on top of the fillings.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry has browned nicely.
Cool in the muffin pan before removing.
Dust with icing sugar and serve!
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2″ piece fresh ginger, grated (optional)
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper (optional)
Sugar Cookie Icing, for decorating
Sprinkles, for decorating
In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, spices, baking soda, and salt until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, as well as fresh ginger, orange zest, and black pepper (if using), until dough just comes together. (Do not overmix!)
Divide dough in half and create two discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. (Alternatively, divide dough in half and roll each piece of dough between two pieces of parchment to 1/4″ thick. Chill until firm.)
Preheat oven to 350° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one disc of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until 1/4″ thick. (Alternatively, peel off both sheets of parchment from dough, then replace one sheet of parchment back underneath dough.) Cut out gingerbread men with a 3″ wide cutter and transfer to baking sheets.
Bake until slightly puffed and set, 9 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Repeat with remaining disc of dough. Decorate with icing and sprinkles as desired.
Christmas Light Cupcakes
Your favourite box Cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 oz. (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Black decorating gel
Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Make cupcake batter according to package instructions and fill liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 18 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy. Gently fold in whipped cream.
Transfer to piping bag or large Ziploc bag. Frost cupcakes, making sure they are a good height. Trace a black line around frosting with decorating gel. Stick M&Ms along the black line, imitating rainbow lights.
Candy Cane Cheesecake
FOR THE CHEESECAKE
3 8-oz. bars cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. Crushed candy canes
FOR THE CRUST
1 sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed
5 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. sugar
pinch of kosher salt
FORT THE TOPPING
Whipped cream, for dolloping
Crushed candy canes, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325º and grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom of pan with aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream, flour, peppermint extract, and salt. Gently fold in crushed candy canes.
Make crust: In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Press mixture into prepared pan.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until center of cheesecake only slightly jiggles, about 1 hour 30 minutes. (If you want to bake the cheesecake in a water bath, wrap bottom of pan and place in a deep baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come up halfway in the baking pan.) Turn off heat, prop open oven door, and let cheesecake cool in oven, 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and refrigerate cheesecake in pan until firm, at least 5 hours and up to overnight.
Add whipped cream along the border of cheesecake and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Sweet & Salty Holiday Toffee
35 saltine crackers
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 bag red and green holiday M&Ms
1 jar holiday sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan with tin foil and coat with cooking spray. Line the baking sheet with Saltine crackers. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, and let cook until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over crackers in an even layer and bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Top immediately with chocolate chips and let melt. Smooth chocolate out into an even layer, then top with red and green M&Ms and holiday sprinkles. Cut into squares, then cool until the chocolate has hardened.
Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almondt extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. water or milk
Green gel icing color
3 tbsp. red and white pearl sprinkles
18 yellow star sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350º and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Dough will be thick.
Make three sizes of cookie dough balls: 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, and 3 teaspoons. (You should have an even number of each.) Place medium and large cookies on a cookie sheet and press down slightly on each. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 7 to 8 minutes. Place smallest balls of dough on another cookie sheet and press down slightly. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. When cookies are done, remove from oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
Make frosting: Beat butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons water and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add green gel icing color to frosting and mix until your desired shade of green.
Assemble cookies: Get one size of each cookie. Fit a piping bag with a medium sized star piping tip (I used Wilton 32) and fill bag with green frosting.
Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the largest cookie, then add the second medium sized cookie on top. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the second cookie, then top with the smallest cookie. Pipe a swirl on top of the final cookie and decorate with a star and round ornament sprinkles. Continue building cookie trees, then refrigerate until ready to serve.